World Cups welcome international sports fans back to Australia

The organising committees for the 2022 UCI Road World Championships and FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup 2022 have invited the international sporting community back to Australia with the reopening of the country’s border for global visitors today.

As preparations ramp up for the two major international sporting events in September and October this year, both organisations are excited by the prospect of having fans from various nations cheering from the sidelines as global leisure travel resumes to Australia for the first time in two years.

Wollongong 2022 CEO Stu Taggart said the UCI Road World Championships, to be held 18 – 25 September, would offer a unique spectator experience on the picturesque coastline of the Illawarra region.

“With more than 70 nations likely to compete in the UCI Road World Championships and an incredibly proud and diverse local community in the host city of Wollongong, it would be extra special to see fans from all over the world come together in celebration at this pinnacle cycling event,” Mr Taggart said.

“There’s nothing like the roar of the crowd matched with the adrenaline of the athletes as they fly past at 40+ kilometres per hour, and being able to enjoy this event for free, right on the edge of the roadside is an experience like no other.

“But that’s not all visitors to Wollongong will get — they’ll also enjoy the stunning beaches, the beautiful escarpment and the warm hospitality of the region, which is a quintessential Australian experience.”

Preparations are well underway for the event which makes up the Triple Crown of cycling (alongside the Tour de France and Giro d’Italia), and the international cycling community is showing a lot of interest in the Wollongong event.

“We have a delegation from the UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale, the governing body of cycling) visiting Wollongong this week to undertake a site visit and we look forward to showcasing the city and confirming our extensive plans with the representatives,” Mr Taggart said.

“We’re proud and excited to put on this marquee event in September that will be instrumental in supporting the recovery of Wollongong’s visitor economy and give the local community, cycling fans and visitors cause to get out and really enjoy the city.”

Retail travel packages for exclusive Wollongong 2022 experiences on the opening and closing weekends of the UCI Road World Championships launched today, providing potential visitors with even greater opportunity to get up close to the action come September. For information on the packages, go to travel.wollongong2022.com.au.

FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup CEO Melissa King said the competing nations had been confirmed last week with the completion of the Qualifying Tournaments, so now is the perfect time to start engaging fans from the 12 represented countries to travel to Sydney to attend the event from 22 September to 1 October and then spend time exploring the state and country.

“We have the best teams from around the world – Australia, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, China, France, Japan, Korea, Nigeria, Russia, Serbia and the United States – coming to Sydney to compete. Wouldn’t it be fantastic to have fans from these countries cheering on our outstanding athletes from the stands?” Ms King said.

“The FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup is akin to the Olympics in that athletes have the privilege of representing their nation, and that camaraderie that comes with celebrating your origin and culture brings an electric energy to the court. The skill and expertise of these teams will be on display so it’s a shout out internationally to fans of basketball and major events the world over to come to experience this live, now you can once again!

“We can’t wait for tip-off in September and the reopening of Australia’s border to international travellers will make for an even better event experience for athletes, spectators and officials.”

NSW Minister for Enterprise, Investment and Trade, Minister for Tourism and Sport and Minister for Western Sydney Stuart Ayres said the timing could not be better for international visitors to return to NSW and be reinvigorated.

“NSW is the best place in the world to visit, study, invest and do business and late summer and early autumn is the perfect time to experience the unique outdoor and cultural lifestyle Sydney and NSW are famous for,” Mr Ayres said.